So I attended RWA Nationals this year, for those of you who don’t know it’s the Romance Writers of America convention. Here’s what I took away from it.

Always have a plan B. The conference was originally scheduled for the Gaylord Palms Opryland in Tennesse, due to a devastating flood  RWA was forced to move the conference in a short amount of time. The fact that they pulled it off was incredible. Though there was a complaint about the chicken for every meal. It could have been worse, we could have had no conference.
You have something worth contributing. This was discussed over breakfast one morning. As writers we tend to think we have nothing to contribute if we’re not published, or let people treat us this way. The truth is we come from different backgrounds. We have degrees in different fields and have worked in those fields. The wealth of knowledge that we have, shouldn’t be ignored just because someone isn’t published.

Just because you’re not published now it doesn’t mean you won’t ever be published. Writing is a process. That includes learning how to finish the book. How to revise the book. How to revise the book again. How to pitch. How to submit.  How to choose an agent, and if you can’t find an agent, how to read a contract. It’s about perseverance and the willingness to learn and to keep learning.

It’s about having a base. Nora Roberts spoke of having friends. Friends who are willing to be there for you. I’ll add to that family. they may not understand what you’re doing but they support you.

Research. Whether it’s an agent or an editor, a publishing house, or something for your story. Do the research.

Jayne Ann Krentz spoke of killing her career three times over. what she meant was think your decisions through. Don’t be afraid to try something new. However you may want to do it under a new name if you’ve already got an established presence.